This WikiLeaks remix uses gaming scenes from “Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare” and footage from mounted military aircraft cameras during the Gulf and Iraq wars to make a persuasive argument about the way in which war has been sold to our generation as an interactive game with little consequence. The soundtrack is an equal mix of extracted video game sounds and audio samples from the April 2010 WikiLeaked video documenting US military opening fire on civilians, killing two Reuters journalists from an Apache helicopter in an Eastern Baghdad public square. The previously unreleased video was taken in 2007 and contradicted the Pentagon’s version of the event which claimed the US military did not know how the journalists’ deaths occurred. The artist, sqosh12, refers to the piece as a binary timeline that ‘desensitized us further from the horrors of war’.
“Through hearing the audio, we experience the result of our collective desensitization in the brutally insensitive, numbed and distant language used by American soldiers in Iraq. At the start of the piece we hear the audio taken from the Wikileaks video..the end result is an approximately equal mix of sound from real and unreal sources, blurring the line of reality a little further. Additionally this piece is about the power of the internet, as both a political and artistic tool. Every piece of footage and sound in this video was intentionally harvested from the internet for that purpose.”
Not surprisingly, video games aren’t the only medium altering our perceptions of war. Two weeks ago, WikiLeaks released the largest internal account of any war on public record. The 390,000 US classified documents on the Iraq war exposed the formal policy to ignore human rights abuses committed by the Iraqi military, revealed war logs that confirm the Pentagon’s civilian death tallies and sheds light on the role of military defense contractors like Blackwater and Zapata who we now know have been on the ground firing on Iraqi civilians, US troops, and even each other. Our own media failed to cover the Wikileaks story in depth. Instead, WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange made headlines when he walked off the set of a CNN interview after being asked about his employees and not the about the content of the leaked documents. On ABC World News, Diane Sawyer questioned the status of “prosecuting the WikiLeaks group”. This piece is a prime example of how remix can be used as a tool to challenge and question dominate media and power systems in our country and society.